Golf Balls!?

Titleist, Callaway, Taylor Made……What!!!! There are so many choices out there these days. It is very hard for any golfer to make the correct choice. Let me help you out!

As a beginner golfer, truly it doesn’t matter, yet. The cheaper the ball maybe the better for a little bit.

But then, all of sudden you turn a corner and start to say to yourself “Why does my ball always roll past the pin and over the green?” This is the point when you must start to look at what a golf ball can do for you. Now, I can’t tell you brand or kind because truly most of them out there are great golf balls. I am going to be very basic here. Most companies have three lines of golf balls with three different price points. You can go on their websites and read all the information they have. But to tell you the truth it can be a little overwhelming with all the technology out there. But again it is good to do. Another great place is to look on the package of the golf ball. Most of the time the package can give you the basic attributes of the golf ball.  But reading and learning about the golf balls can only go so far. At best it can only get you to the point where you are looking at a couple companies or one specific ball category……

But now you have to try them out.  It is just like a science experiment. Pick three different golf balls (brand, category, price etc.). Go to the practice green. Chip all three to the same flag from the same place. What happened? Did one feel better than the next? Did one react better? Go get them and try it again? What happened?! Next do a different shot, maybe a longer or shorter chip. Then try a pitch. Spend about 20 minutes just trying all of them out. At the end, what do you think?

As your game improves, so should the decision you make when buying golf balls. If you are playing a distance golf ball and can’t hold a green. This could help you out. Yes, it might be the golf ball.

 

Squaring Clubface Through Contact

Making solid contact at impact is so amazing for golfers. I think that is what the true addiction for a golfer is! But this concept is very hard to us. First, you can always practice chipping or putting.  This swing can be easier because it is less moving parts and we are not working on so much power. But as we move to a bigger, fuller swing things can be come erratic. Here is a way to practice and understand how your clubface is coming through contact.

Take a tennis racquet or a badminton racquet (we put an extender on it to make it feel like a full length golf club), practice swinging and concentrate on how the head of the racquet is coming through at contact. At first it might move around like crazy, but with a couple practice swings and concentration you should start to feel those good muscles such as shoulders and hips moving the club face through a lot straighter.

 

Practice Well!

Happy New Year! Along with the new year comes people making resolutions for 2019. Maybe even a resolution to improve your golf game by practicing more! That’s great! But we have to remember good practice is not about how many hours you put in on the range, or how many golf balls you hit, or even playing 5 days a week on the golf course. These things are great and might make you feel better, but this is not the way to gaurantee improving your golf game.

Here are a couple tips to improve your practice.

1. Only take two or three clubs to the driving range. Don’t get stuck hitting the same favorite clubs all the time. Rotate them every time you go.

2. Don’t keep track of how long you have been at the range. Pick a goal: how many up and downs till you can leave, how many fairways you can hit with your driver out of 5 balls, hit the green 3 consecutive times with your 7 iron.

3. If you practice 30 minutes on the driving range, go to the practice green and spend the same amount of time.

4. ALWAYS HAVE A TARGET ON THE DRIVING RANGE. It doesn’t always have to be a green with a flag, but maybe a hill, a hole, hit in between two trees, or pretend the green is a pond and you have to hit over the pond. Be creative, try to make it like the course with boundaries and obstacles!

5. 10 minutes is better than nothing. Grab a wedge and putter. Try to make 3 up and downs from 3 different places and leave. Next time just take a 7 iron and work on controlling your distance at a target. Sometimes one small goal will improve your game more than trying to do 5 goals all in one session.

These are just a couple good pointers. Let me know if they help!

PRACTICE WELL!

 

 

Intermediate “Close” Target

In a past blog, I discussed how to properly aim your club and body to the target. Now it is time to add a component in your setup to help ensure you are aimed correctly every time. In the picture above, I have centered the camera behind the ball aiming at the red flag – which is my target. I circled a divot in front of my ball in red. This is what I am using as my intermediate target. Intermediate to me means halfway between my ball and my target, which is why I actually like to name it a “close” target. The closer it is to my ball the easier it is for me to aim. On the golf course you can pick anything: divots, grass, leaves (just make sure it doesn’t blow away!)

How to use this target: Now that I have this target I can stand beside my ball and aim my club at the divot (close target). This is a lot easier for me to see if my clubface is aligned then trying to look all the way out to the flag. Next I will try to draw an imaginary line from the divot to my ball and align my feet parallel to this imaginary line. Lastly, after this I turn my head a little bit and the flag should be right there if I did this appropriately. This takes some practice but this allows me to see my alignment much easier than having to look out towards the flag all the time.

If you do this with your irons, you need to do this with your woods, short game, putting etc. Basically it should be part of your pre shot routine for all shots: tee to green. The more you use a “close” target, the better you will become at aiming. As a result you will hit more shots closer to your target!

Maintain your Power at the Top

We all want more power in our golf swings. I am going to tell you it is not by overswinging your club in your back swing and breaking down your wrists or front arm.  Actually you will get more power from your swing if at the top of your backswing you are engaging your front shoulder by not breaking down your front arm and wrist……this actually might be a smaller swing but more powerful.

If you look at the picture, I have taken two PVC pipes and made a 90 degree angle. I swing back and made sure that the opposite end of the PVC pipe does not hit any part of me. If the PVC pipe hits me, I am breaking down either my wrists or my left arm at the top of my swing. Therefore this will disconnect my power source from my shoulders and hips and my downswing will be broken.

The best part of this drill is it can be done anywhere at anytime. If you practice enough with the PVC pipe the feel should transition to a better backswing with a golf club.

Tee Height for Driver

Yes, I do believe we need to talk about this. Even though it sounds so simple there is a specific height you need to tee up for a driver. Don’t get me wrong, you can play around with the height of the tee if you are trying to change the flight of your ball purposefully but for our sake we are going to keep it basic!

Technically the tee should pushed into the ground where the ball is half above the driver head and half below the driver head. This shouldn’t be total precision but the more you do it, the more consistent you can be.

Now, it will look different according to what size driver head you do have. Now a days the driver head keeps getting bigger and bigger so you might feel the tee needs to be higher then a driver way back in the day!

 

2nd Checkpoint: Club Face

This checkpoint can be a little difficult to determine. This is why I have grabbed a badminton racquet with a small shaft extender on it. Now I understand you might not have one of these in your garage, but you may also want to use a tennis racquet or just a bandminton without an extension on it is great too. Swing back and check where the face of the racquet is pointing. In the picture you can see the whole face of the racquet: this is good. If the face of the racquet is pointing up or down you are changing the club face. Therefore on the downswing you will need some maneuvering of the club to get it back to square for good impact.

After you have confirmed  a square club face try to focus on the feel in your arms, wrists and hands. If the clubface is not square at the top, first look at your wrists. Figure out good wrists and bad wrists. Using the big racquet will help you feel and see this position easier. After a little practice, go back to your club and check it out.

Hip Excerise

Oh the Winter!

Whether you are in the North or South, golf takes a little break for all of us. This is my all time favorite excercise to help your body stay active anytime anywhere.

Take a ball, any ball. My favorite is a medicine ball because it turns into not only a golf drill but a great excercise for your core. Set up like a golfer holding the ball between your hands, just like holding a club. Swing back about halfway then turn your hips forward and throw the ball towards your target. If your body moved properly the ball should go towards your target. If it didn’t move properly the ball is not going towards your target and you should feel like your arms/wrists/hands interfered.

You can do this drill 10-20 times in a row. If you are using a medicine ball your core should feel a great workout….not your arms and hands!

 

Understanding the Lofts of Your Clubs

Let’s start first with what is loft. Loft is the angle of your club face. This angle determines how high your ball flies therefore helps provide how far your golf ball will go. If it was up to me, all the golf clubs would have the degree of loft on the top of the clubs and not a number. The number of the clubs really does not have a purpose. The loft is the most important.

As a golfer, you should first start by writing down the clubs you have in your bag. Then go online and look up your manufacturer’s specifications. Write down the lofts shown in the specifications that correspond to the club in your bag. Make sure you are looking up the brand and model of your club as some manufacturers use different lofts. Next, look to see what or if you have any gaps in your lofts or possibly the duplications. This will help determine if you need to start looking at purchasing a club to fill a gap or eliminate a club.

 

Yardages Control

When you play a golf course it is always good to know how they mark the yardage’s on the golf courses. Players have chosen for helping determine a holes yardage’s. Some golf courses uses stones to mark 100, 150, 200 etc. Other golf courses just mark 150 yards with a stick. While others go and mark the sprinkler heads.  Another option is using a range finder or gps. When you know how the golf courses are marked then you can start to determine where you are on each hole and what club to choose.

Now, depending on the type of player you are the yardage can mean different things. If you look at the picture above, I marked an X where the ball has landed and written the yardage to the hole: 50 yards. Most of us would take out our 50 yard shot and hit the ball. But what we are not accounting for is including the yardage of the ball after it hits the ground. When I am teaching a player on the golf course, I am noticing the students are hitting a 50 yard shot but when the ball lands it will roll more and either roll to far past the hole or even over the green. Then they look at me and said I hit the right shot but it didn’t work. While, they are not accounting for the extra distance when the ball lands. Therefore, if they took a PW and hit a 50 yard shot, the ball will roll at least 10-20 more feet if not more. Therefore they should be landing the ball either in the front of the green or the middle of the green. Therefore the player should be landing the ball at 30 or 40 yards and letting the ball roll to the hole. Each player has to determine their own yardage by including these three factors: the performance of the club, how the ball will react, and the condition of the golf course.